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HISTORY WRITTEN: Switzerland beats Sweden on international stage for first time in history

Host nation Switzerland ripped up the form book in Kirchberg to spoil Sweden’s Euro Floorball Tour 2017 title-winning party, scoring an unprecedented seven goals to win the match 7-5 and clinch the country’s first ever victory over the Swedes. The Scandinavians thus miss out on securing a 100% record of three wins from three from their tour, but are safe in the knowledge that the silverware will be going back to Stockholm on a day when Kim Nilsson reached a landmark 101 international goals.

A partisan crowd was in attendance at Sporthalle Grossmatt in Kirchberg for this one, the hosts chasing a first win of the tour whilst the visitors looked to secure a 100% record. One could tell it was the plucky underdogs Switzerland who were more up for the fight in the opening exchanges, and it took just 36 seconds for them to break the deadlock, Paolo Riedi firing in to send the majority of the spectatorship into raptures. Delight became unbridled joy ten minutes later as Remo Buchli slotted in a second, and they’d get a third two minutes from the break through Christoph Camenisch, after Gustav Fritzell had fired in a retaliatory strike for Sweden.

3-1 at the break and it was clear that the hosts hadn’t read the script, so one could imagine the disbelief of all in attendance when Manuel Maurer made it 4:1 to the Swiss, coolly finishing after Paolo Riedi picked him out with a square pass with 26 minutes on the clock. Fritzell replied with a tap-in for Sweden after Rikard Eriksson found him with a searching ball toward the far post, before a melee in the Swedish slot resulted in two players from each team going to the sin-bin. Kim Nilsson took advantage of the extra space in the ring, pulling the score back to 4-3 with the accolade of his 100th international goal heading into the closing period.

Even with only pride at stake the Swiss weren’t prepared to let the game slip away from them, and four seconds after the restart the home crowd was on its feet again as Matthias Hofbauer broke away from his marker and fired into the roof of the net for 5-3. Rikard Eriksson responded a minute later for Sweden to keep Swiss nerves jangling, but it was to be their evening and Manuel Maurer made sure of that, receiving the ball before sprinting clear of the retreating Swedish defense and calmly finishing into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Viktor Klintsten for 6-4. With a minute left, Hofbauer put the gloss on his and Switzerland’s night, picking his spot and powering home to make it a magnificent seven for the hosts. Kim Nilsson notched his 101st international goal just seconds later for the visitors, but the accolade will prove mere consolation in what became a glorious game for the Swiss against the tour winners, the mood in the Swedish camp visibly bittersweet despite finishing top of the pile.

Source: SwissUnihockey.ch // Olivier Winistörfer

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